"The real struggle is trying to make sure you understand everything you're saying to the point that it feels like it is your own thought. There is some really intelligent conversation happening. Some thoughts on first read are beyond me," admits Jason Segel during our recent webcam chat (watch below or click here) about his role as David Foster Wallace in "The End of the Tour." Segel portrays the verbose author who is interviewed over a five-day period in 1996 by Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg).
Lipsky was sent by the magazine to interview Wallace in Illinois about his groundbreaking best-selling novel Infinite Jest. He recorded many of their conversations in the home, car, and on the road, with those tapes being a great source of inspiration to both actors in their performances.
As Segel explains, "I've done a lot of press tours myself so I thought a lot about where my mind is when I'm on a press tour. I thought if I really dug into Infinite Jest and what he was trying to say in that, I'd probably get close to what he was thinking about in those four days. When I read it, I thought it was a distress beacon."
Segel was nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards for Best Actor. He is also eligible in the lead category for the upcoming Golden Globe nominations. For other kudos, including the Oscars, SAG Awards, and Critics Choice, A24 is promoting him as Best Supporting Actor.
He first became well known in 1999 with his work in the short-lived NBC series "Freaks and Geeks" opposite James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Linda Cardellini. He also starred on the long-running CBS comedy "How I Met Your Mother" for nine seasons. His film career has included "Knocked Up," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (which he wrote), "Bad Teacher," "The Muppets," "The Five-Year Engagement," and "Sex Tape."
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Photo Credit: Courtesy of A24